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The Google homepage is something that everyone has been on, not once or twice. Many times. But it’s one of those things we don’t pay much attention to.

It’s pretty easy to ignore it. It’s just a homepage, but one of the things that makes it so special to me are the little games or slideshows they have. Every day, Google has a new page on the home screen that will lead you to something special, whether it'd be a tribute to a famous man or woman, or just something fun. Most of the time, I never paid attention to them, but today (July 23, 2021), I found a cool game on the homepage. Not a slideshow or a tribute like Google typically does, but an actual video game.

It’s a very simple game that anyone can play, called Doodle Champion Island Games (DCIG). A calico cat named Lucky is trying to defeat the 7 champions across an island (we never get the name of it) and collect the scrolls. That’s it.

It may seem boring, but it’s actually really cool. I’ll tell you why.

First, I love the art style. It has a Pac-Man, 16-bit style of gameplay similar to the old 1980’s arcade games, with actual hand drawn animated cutscenes that look super cute! These are not the type of games I typically play, but this one is so colorful and nice to look at; it's breathtaking.

It’s not just looks though. The actual gameplay is very diverse. The 7 champions you have to defeat all have their own mini-games. I’ll list them:

1. You have to hit the arrows at the correct time in a rhythm game.

2. You have to play rugby while enemies try to catch you. To win, you must pass the ball to your teammates quickly before any of your opponents touch you!

3. You have to play table tennis with one of the champions and score a certain amount of points to win.

4. You have to use a bow and arrow to hit targets. However, the enemy champion will also try hitting the targets. Hit the most targets and collect the most points to win.

5. You have to land different trick shots on a skateboard, which will give you points. Complete the required amount of points to win.

6. You have to climb a mountain while rocks and other terrain are hitting you down. Head up to the top before the timer runs out to win!

7. You have to complete a marathon. Win first place to progress onward.

These are the games in DCIG, and while they may sound easy, they’re actually quite hard! Each requires some different type of skill to defeat them, and it all depends on you. I beat the table tennis one with ease, but I’ve seen people struggle with it like crazy!

That’s not the only thing though. There are also side quests to complete like helping certain animals find their lost possessions.

All of this is a tribute to the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games (which are going on till August 8th), and I’m really impressed by the people who worked on this. They could have just made a slideshow talking about how the Summer Olympic Games got started, but they made an actual game that must have taken them hours! That’s crazy, and I applaud the team (a Japanese animation studio called Studio 4C) who worked on it. Not just because it’s fun, but because it actually shows how you can tell stories through video games. I’ve seen many people say that video games are “bad” and teach you nothing! I whole heartedly disagree. There are so many games out there that have intricate and interesting stories that can challenge you in multiple different ways, either by exercising your reflexes or critical thinking. DCIG proves this really well, and I’m glad people are finally realizing how video games are actually just as imaginative and exciting as books. Yes, games may not be educational—and I’m not saying to play video games 24 hours a day, but I feel they shouldn’t be completely ignored either.

DCIG was a wonderful, unexpected find during my daily Google browsing. I expected something boring, but I got something great instead. It’s not long (I beat it in about 45 minutes), but it is still as fun as other games I’ve played that last hundreds of hours. For a Google game developed by a small team of people, this is insane! DCIG is a perfect tribute to the 2020/2021 Summer Olympic Games, and I can’t wait to see what the Studio 4C team will do next.

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